Home Staging: The Do's and Don'ts of Using Color

home staging for living room

When you are planning to sell your home, a million little things need to be done. One of the big ones is to get your home ready for people to see it. This means giving it a home staging makeover so that it no longer looks like your home, but rather a home that anyone can picture himself living in.

To that end, a great way to make a big impact in home staging is with colors. Choosing the right colors can transform each room without being a lot of work. However, you need to follow these tips to make sure that your choosing the right colors for the biggest impact on potential buyers.

DO Re-paint

painting trim of house

Unless you have painted your home within the last year, you will need to paint again before you can put your house up on the market. Even if you have repainted, you may still need to do so again if your colors are too bright or bold to attract buyers.

Both the inside and the outside of your home will need retouching to make your home look fresh, new, and alluring. If you have aluminum or vinyl siding, you can skip painting the whole house, but you will need to refresh your outdoor window and door frames.

You can decide whether to update the existing colors or to add a new hue to your home’s color palette, but you should always consider the following. Natural light can help show off a home like nothing else, so when you are planning on updating your colors, remember to consider how the light will reflect on certain ones. How and where your windows are situated makes all the difference. The more windows, the more light that you are going to get into a room.

Also, where a particular room is facing—west or east, north or south—can make a big difference. So, think about that when you start making paint color choices. Often large rooms need darker colors to look more comfortable. While smaller rooms do well with lighter colors. These little changes can make a big difference in your house staging.

DON'T Leave Your Themes Intact

bathtub with seashells and fish decor

While certain themes may suit your personal tastes, they are not what prospective buyers are going to want to see. A good example is the often-seen nautical-themed bathroom. Those bathrooms will work better for staging when they are scaled down to a more minimalist, neutral look because nautical is just too such a strong theme to appeal to potential buyers.

If you're not willing to change out the sailboat wallpaper, even though you should, take a color from the palette and switch out soap dishes, bath mats, shower curtains, etc. to match. By switching out the lighthouse-shaped toothbrush holder to a plain-colored one, you minimize the overwhelming theme without spending a lot of time and effort.

The same idea goes for living rooms and bedrooms. You may like to surround yourself with old, Victorian furniture, floral patterns, and luxurious decor, but most homeowners can't relate to this specific style of furnishings. It's best to take it down a notch. Understandably, you won't want to buy all new furniture, but you can pack up some of your decor to simplify the room.

DO Investigate Similar Homes

home staging living room

Keep in mind what kind of color palettes you find in the homes of your neighbors. You can even look up homes in your region to see what other listings are offering in terms of colors. Remember where you live and the aesthetic that is all around you matters. If your home is in New Hampshire, painting the interiors the color of a Miami cabana may not work well for a home staging. Make sure that your colors reflect what buyers want to see in the home in your area, not what you like to see in a home.

DON'T Forget about Flooring

tearing out old carpet

Hardwood, laminate, and tiled flooring is usually safe to keep intact so long as it isn't dingy, broken, or discolored. Carpet is a different story.

It's recommended to re-carpet your home before putting it on the market because it will increase the value and make the home look fresher and more appealing. If you have carpets that aren't neutral in color, this is an absolute must. Green, blue, and red carpets are sure to scare away home buyers. Most people will know straight away that their furniture will not match such bold colors, and they will dread have to spend money to replace carpeting right off the bat.

Light, neutral colors work best when home staging because they open up the space, making it feel larger. They also help homeowners visualize what their furniture will look like in the space. Keep in mind that while white is neutral, it will likely scare people away as well because it is so difficult to keep clean. A nice, polyester carpet in light beige, taupe, or warm grey will leave a more positive impression on potential buyers.

DO Dare to Add Color

couch with pink accent pillow and flowers

With home staging, it is a delicate line between letting people visualize themselves in your home and letting them know that people took care and loved the home before them. Putting the right colors on the walls can help buyers visualize themselves in your home without seeing the space as cold and uninviting or seeing the space as someone else's. For example, a bedroom painted in bright pink with flowered accents will make it hard for someone to picture the room as a home office or spare room for in-laws.

When painting walls, colors like eggshell, white, and grey go over well. Having said that, you shouldn't remove all colors from your home's palette. Paint the walls with one of these popular color options, then use your favorite colors as accents.

However, don't be afraid to add or keep colors from your personal items. Keeping the walls and floors neutral while daring to add pops of colors to things that are easily interchangeable—such as shower curtains, soap dispensers, throw pillows, towels, and various colorful plants—can add a sense of homeyness to a room without overwhelming people.

DON'T Choose "Strong Emotion" Colors

child's pink bedroom

Some people get confused as to what a strong emotion colors are. A strong emotion color is a color that makes an impact when you look at it. A deep red accent wall or a florescent orange room conveys strong emotions for people, and it is often a bad choice for home staging colors.

This notion applies to furnishings as well. If you have a bright purple sofa, it may draw unwanted attention. However, subtle colors like beiges or pastels can look great without overwhelming the space.

There are places in a home where you can have strong emotion colors accented, such as throw pillows, area rugs, curtains, etc. Although, it is still recommended to steer away from purples, pinks, and reds, as these colors are more severe and can evoke a strong, negative reaction in people. Blues, greens, and yellows are much more attractive and soothing, which means they will make a more positive, inviting impression.

Different hues in a home can help personalize it in a positive way, as long as you don't go too bold or too overboard. You don't want the environment to look too boring or sterile any more than you want it to look to loud and overwhelming.

>> Interior Design Trends to Avoid when Home Staging